VIII.19 Distinctive properties of the despotic government

A great empire sup­po­ses a des­po­tic autho­rity in the per­son who governs. The prompt­ness of reso­lu­tions must com­pen­sate for the dis­tance of the pla­ces to which they are dis­pat­ched ; fear must pre­vent the negli­gence of the remote gover­nor or magis­trate ; the law must rest on a sin­gle head, which must cons­tantly change, like the acci­dents that always mul­ti­ply in the state in pro­por­tion to its size.